Monday, July 18, 2011

Update :)

So it's been a few weeks since I last updated.  It's hard to keep up with time here which can be a good and bad thing.  I get extremely sad when I think about leaving this place in two weeks but extremely excited to be back home and at school.  But I will talk about some things I've been learning in the last couple of weeks here at Summer Project.
1. The Church- Week 5 at SP was on the church.  I basically learned about how important the church is in a believers life.  It is essential to surround yourself with fellow believers and to come together to praise God as one body.  It is also important to get involved and use the talents God has blessed you with to serve the church which ultimately serves Christ and glorifies God.
2. Perseverance- Week 6 at SP was on perseverance and it couldn't have come at a better time.  Week 6 was a hard week for me as I was beginning to grow tired physically and drained spiritually.  It is such a  blessing to know that I serve a God that is there to hold me when I am tired and to grow me in weakness.  Learning to fight the good fight knowing that I will be persecuted was such a great reminder of the gospel and how much the Lord did for me so that I could live for Him.
3. Biblical Womanhood- WOW. That basically sums up week 7 for me.  Biblical womanhood was incredibly amazing to learn about and I grew a lot in the past week just learning about my role as a woman.

I don't even know what else to say except that I continue to be overwhelmed with the gospel.  God is continuing to reveal himself to me and I am utterly so very thankful to be here!  I'll leave you with this: "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to here from the Lord." Luke 1:45.  I am learning to become fully content in the Lord and allow him to fulfill me.  I want my cup to run over with Him and I want to be completely fine with who I am in the Lord.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Project: Week 4

And now fearlessly pursuing the one who gave His life for me...

Take a second and soak up the sentence above.  This past Sunday at church a group sang a song and this line stuck out to me big time.  Week 4 of Summer Project was dedicated to relationships. Yeah, that probably made you throw up a little but don't worry, it made me too.  When it comes to relationships I'm honestly not the best.. at all.  I am selfish, and quick to anger, and sometimes it's hard for me to love people but what I've learned in the past week is quickly making me turn theses awful traits of mine around all because of God's love for us.

When you think about relationships today you probably think of a girl and boy pursuing each other in hopes that one day they can marry and have lots of babies.  Although this is one of the main points of having a partner, or "soul mate", it shouldn't be your focus to have a guy (or girl) fill the void in your heart that belongs to Christ Jesus.  I've learned that your number one focus should be the pursuit of more God and when you are pursuing Him with everything THEN He will place someone in your life that will pursue Him with you.  You see, it's not about us at all.. it's all about God and until we realize that and discover that He is the only one that will ever satisfy us, we will be in a never ending pursuit of things that can't sustain us like God's love.

Society today does relationships all backwards.  I used to think that in order to be in a relationship with a guy you'd have to have all the lovey dovey feelings in the pit of your stomach that make you do crazy things first and then once you have feelings, you have to learn all the facts about them, and after you know their favorite color, favorite movie, etc you can squeeze faith in their somewhere.  But what I have learned that all of that in completely backwards from the way that God wants us to have relationships.  We should first allow our friendships to be rooted in Christ as a common factor, and then you should get to know the person, and then God will set special feelings for that person into your heart if it is His will.  The point of all of this is that we should be searching for a husband or a wife but we should be striving for more of God until He decides it's the right time for you to become one emotionally and physically with another person in the covenant of marriage.  And as for dating, we should honor marriage while we are dating someone by making Godly decisions within the dating process.

Joel 2:25 "I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten." God's grace is abundant in the area of restoring the mistakes that we have made in past relationships.  It is so encouraging to know that I am forgiven and seen white as snow in the eyes of the most high God.  The God that created this earth and universe views me as His precious bride and I am so very beautiful in His eyes.  His love and grace is indescribable and I don't even have the knowledge to comprehend how awesome and amazing it is to be able to dwell in the presence of God all because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.

And now fearlessly pursuing the one who gave his life for me...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summer Project: Week 3

Well week three of Summer Project has come and gone and I have grown more than I thought imaginable.  Literally, God is continuing to blow my mind, stretch me, and change my heart.  Day after day I learn more about myself, my faith, and my struggles and it is the most amazing thing I have yet to experience in life.  It’s hard to describe Summer Project to people, who aren’t here, but this community of people is incredible and although I miss all of my friends back home, I wouldn’t want to spend a summer with any other group of people.  Before getting here I was afraid to change.  Change my life style, my views, my convictions, but I have come to realize that that is why I am here; to change my life by first changing my heart.  I am so thankful for this opportunity and God is continuing to change me more everyday with every experience.

This past week’s theme was prayer.  I thought for sure there was nothing about prayer that I needed to know but I was so wrong.  Prayer is how we communicate with God and even if this seems like a simple concept it really just clicked with me this week.  God communicates to us through his word and through people and although he knows our thoughts, isn’t it cool to know that we can pray to the God that created everything?  It was just really neat to take prayer seriously again because for the past couple of years I have neglected to take the time to really reveal my heart to the Lord.  There is a peace that comes with being vulnerable with God as well.  He wants us to talk to him on a daily basis and to be completely vulnerable with Him so that he can do great works through us.  For the first time in a long time I understood the importance of prayer and how much we should depend on it as Christians.  

We should pray about everything! In Philippians 4:6-7 it says, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Isn’t it awesome to know that God wants us to cast our worries on Him?  Not only did he send his son to die for us, he also wants us to lean on Him with our worries and struggles.  This verse is just so awesome and is a great reminder of how big our God is and how much He loves us! 

There is just so much more I could say about how amazing God’s love for us is, but it’s so hard to put into words!  I hope this can encourage you to soak up as much of God’s love as you can because it will never run dry or forsake you! Hebrews 13:5-6, “Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?”  Hope you are blessed by the word.  It can change your heart!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Project: Week 2

It’s so hard to believe that another week at Summer Project is gone.  A lot has happened!  Such as: my room was asked out on a room date in an extremely sweet way, I rode dragster two more times, and participated in Rasneck Games (Redneck games).  I also watched a wedding take place at an outdoor waterpark that I work at… interesting?  Although there are tons of fun things that go on through out the week, I feel like I’ve grown even more than when I last wrote and it’s only been one week!  The community here is amazing and I have come to realize the importance of being a part of a Godly community and surrounding yourself with people that will lift you up and make you better.  I’ve had so much fun just getting to know other people and their stories and being able to share mine too.  There is a sort of peace that comes with dealing with your past and gearing up for your future with people who long for the same things you do. 

One key thing that was taught this week and has stuck with me was learning about intentional living, or living with a purpose.  In Romans 5:3-5 it says, “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”  Living by this scripture is pivotal to truly walking with Christ because as Christians we must know that trials will come our way but by living with intention we also know that after those trials we will have the ultimate privilege of being with Christ and living for a reason. 

Another scripture that I have come across this week in my time alone with God was Philippians 4:6-7 where it says, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Wow.  It is amazing to me that there is someone out there that cares about my worries and wants me to cast all my troubles on Him so that I can have a peace of mind.  The Gospel is SO GOOD and every day that I dig into it, I come across something new that amazes me even more. 

My prayer this week is that I would continue to shine God’s light at work, while I’m talking to girls, or just hanging out.  I want to be a light for God wherever I am and while I’m doing whatever I’m doing.  I also pray that I would cast all my worries on Him and let Him carry them so that I can focus on the now and not be hasty for the future to happen.  I hope everyone at home is having a great summer and I miss you all SO MUCH!  I am thinking and praying for all of you and I love you so so sooooo much! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Project: Week 1

A week of Summer Project has come and gone and I feel more “rooted” in Christ than I ever have.  This place is amazing and I am so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to come here and spend a summer in the son :) For those of you who don’t know what Summer Project is, I decided to write a blog for the summer; so that you can keep up with all that is going on in my life.  So here it begins:

I arrived at Summer Project not understanding the Gospel.  Of course, if you would have asked me before if I was a Christian or understood the Gospel, I would have most definitely said yes; but being here, surrounded by people who love Jesus and want more of him made me realize that I didn’t know the Gospel at all. I was simply pretending to know what the Gospel was and continuing to live my life, my way.  After a week here in classy Sandusky, my eyes have been opened to the greatness of the Gospel and I feel as if I’ll never be the same. 

The first step in this journey was realizing that I didn’t understand the Gospel.  It’s really easy for Christians to get caught up in what the “Gospel” means and therefore we neglect to ever see the truth behind its meaning.  It simply means “The Good News.”  And that good news being that while we were sinners God send his ONLY son to DIE for a bunch of people who would in return deny him time and time again.  BUT his wonderful, amazing, unfailing love covers us sinners and God now sees us as perfect.  If this isn’t good news to you, then I don’t know what would be.  Being reminded of this truth this first week here has made me realize why I always end up running back to God’s arms after I’ve turned away for awhile; because how could you not want to love someone that loves you as much as God does!?  If I had a child, I couldn’t imagine giving them away or sending them to get hurt or die.  I can’t comprehend how big God’s love is for me. 

I wish I could write everything that I have learned this week but there has been so much that it would take me a million years to type it all out.  I am anxious to see what the rest of the summer holds and to see what God is going to do in my heart, mind and life.  I can only imagine that it will continue getting better and I hope to keep you updated as best as I can.  I pray that this is the beginning of an awesome journey with God and that it doesn’t stop here but would continue with me when I leave, and I don’t even want to start thinking about leaving yet. 

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7